My mom brought a pink sweater back from her trip to Ireland for me. It’s interesting because when I looked at it I realized that it didn’t really resemble anything in my wardrobe these days. For the last year, I’ve been making all my style choices with bohemian/California Casual/hippie in mind, so my daily wardrobe is comprised of casual, Earth-tone, peasant blouses and boots, etc. Not pink sweaters. That’s more American Classic territory. But I love the pink sweater and because it’s from Ireland, it’s super warm — those people know warm, that’s for sure.
So the other day, I wore my pink sweater to pick up Emerson at this huge Girl Scout’s sports expo event. There were long sign-in tables everywhere and efficient women with clipboards running around. As soon as I got close to the building, a woman walked up to me and said, “You’re in charge of that table over there, right?” Confused, I said, “Uh, no.” The woman’s head tilted slightly, also confused, then she said, “Oh. Well, then you’re in charge of handing out the swag bags to the girls.” Once again, I had to say no. The woman stopped and just stared at me. Finally, she said, “Wait. Are you a parent?” I said yes, and she started laughing, explaining that she just assumed I was in charge of something.
I can promise you that situation would have never ever happened if I was dressed in my hippie clothes — no one assumes you’re in charge if you look like a hippie. In fact, they assume you have no idea what’s going on and just that’s the way I like it. But when you put on a v-neck pull over, suddenly, you are a person that answers questions. You are responsible. Your car is clean and your never miss a dental cleaning.
This experience reminded me so much of My Year of Fabulous, when I was treated differently based on what style I was wearing. I thought of what Nina Garcia says, “With style, you show the world who you are.”
Later on, when Emmy and I went to the store to pick up some groceries, a woman stopped me and asked me if I knew where the raisins were.
I said, Of course, I know where the raisins are. After all, I’m wearing a pink sweater.